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Is Religiosity of Immigrants a Bridge or a Buffer in the Process of Integration? A Comparative Study of Europe and the United States

  • García-Muñoz, Teresa

    ()

    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Neuman, Shoshana

    ()

    (Bar-Ilan University)

This study reviews and evaluates the intertwined relationship between immigration and religiosity, focusing on the two sides of the Atlantic – Europe and the United States. Based on the existing literature and on a statistical analysis of several data sets (the International Social Survey Program – ISSP: Module Religion, 2008; the European Social Survey – ESS, waves 2002-2010; and the General Social Survey – GSS, waves 2002-2010) the following aspects are explored: (i) the current religious landscape of Europe and of the United States and projections for the future; (ii) religiosity of immigrants (in Europe and the United States): are they more religious than the native populations (in terms of church attendance and of prayer habits)?; (iii) how does religiosity of immigrants affect integration: is it serving as a bridge that smoothens integration into the local population, or as a buffer against the harsh integration process?; and (iv) are the intersections between religiosity and integration different in Europe and in the United States, due to historical differences in the state-religion relationship, immigration policies and concepts? The main findings are the following: (a) immigrants are indeed more religious than the populations in the receiving countries. This fact, combined with higher fertility rates and also a continued inflow of immigrants, will lead to major changes in the religious landscape, both in Europe and in the United States; and (b) while in the united States religiosity of immigrants serves as a bridge between the immigrants and the local population, in Europe it has mainly the function of a buffer and of "balm to the soul".

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6384.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6384
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  1. Alberto Dávila & Marie Mora, 2005. "Changes in the earnings of Arab men in the US between 2000 and 2002," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 587-601, November.
  2. Fernando A. Lozano & Michael D. Steinberger, 2012. "Empirical Methods in the Economics of International Immigration," Chapters, in: Handbook of Research Methods in Migration, chapter 8 Edward Elgar.
  3. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
  4. Anne Goujon & Katrin Fliegenschnee & Pawel Strzelecki & Vegard Skirbekk, 2007. "New times, old beliefs: Projecting the future size of religions in Austria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 5(1), pages 237-270.
  5. Garza, Pablo Brañas & Neuman, Shoshana, 2003. "Analyzing Religiosity Within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," IZA Discussion Papers 868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility. Theory, Simulations and Evidence," Papers on Economics of Religion 10/03, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  7. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2011. "Immigration: The European Experience," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1122, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner & Cordelia Reimers, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of September 11th on Arab and Muslim Residents of the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
  9. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," IZA Discussion Papers 3006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2003. "Immigrant Religious Adjustment: An Economic Approach to Jewish Migrations," IZA Discussion Papers 863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Aleksynska, Mariya & Chiswick, Barry R., 2011. "Religiosity and Migration: Travel into One's Self versus Travel across Cultures," IZA Discussion Papers 5724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Neuman, Shoshana, 1999. "Aliyah to Israel: Immigration under Conditions of Adversity," IZA Discussion Papers 89, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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